About the Artist: In his teens, at the same time Kurt was playing in a terrible (though extremely loud) garage band, he was opening his ears to a wide range of musical influences from Mahler to Mingus. Ultimately it was songwriters like Harry Chapin who held sway; writers who could weave an engaging narrative into a simple song and provide a deep connection to our human condition. The influence of writers such as Bill Morrissey, Richard Shindell and Guy Clark can be heard in his songwriting. “Says the Rain” is Winikka’s second CD, co-produced with Lloyd Maines in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts and Austin, Texas. A fortuitous meeting at the Kerrville Folk Festival in the Texas Hill Country led to the collaboration between the two. Joining Kurt on the recordings are Lloyd Maines, Pat Manske, Richard Bowden, Joel Guzman, Riley Osbourn, and Terri Hendrix. The collection of eleven original songs and one traditional song will be released March 19, 2013.
Review: I have to say I was extremely impressed with the opening 3 tracks “Leaving Again”, “Tom Duchense” and “Maybe This Time” . They made quite the first impression with me. Each one possessed my full unadulterated attention. To be honest: I expected cheesy singer-songwriter Pop cut from the same cloth as say Jason Mraz. Not that there’s anything wrong with Jason Mraz, I just want to hear something new. What I discovered was actually quite the opposite. The whole CD is wonderfully conservative yet full of what I would call positive acoustical energy with music that appeals to so many different senses on so many different levels. It reminds me of Harry Chapin, Woodie Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and even The Band. I can also hear the slight Americana/R&B influence in there as well. What I really like about Winikka is there is no attempt to deliver what I call over the top pop. Cheezy music with a handsome face via top flight sampling, cookie cutter songwriting via a mix that sounds more like a commercial than a piece of music. It will also appeal to both advanced and novice listeners alike. Whatever kind of listening level you’re on – some will identify with things while others will not. Weather it’s musically, lyrically, inspirationally, emotionally, spiritually – if you feel like music is taking us in the wrong direction than rest assured Kurt Winikka is taking us back in the right direction with Says the Rain.
My Favorite Track: Maybe This Time
Final Word: Kurt Winikka will affirm your faith in real, genuine folk music again. I mean vintage Folk music which is a rare find these days! He represents all that is real and good in music and his latest CD Says the Rain delivers a highly passionate 12 track catalog via top flight passion play, amazing songwriting and music that covers all the bases: Americana, Folk, Alternative Rock, R&B.
Final Rating: 4.5/5
by Michael Keith edited by Mindy McCall
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